Hannah Reed's latest atmospheric mystery takes readers to the Scottish Highlands of sheep dog trials, charming pubs, and the Northern Lights. Throw in a murder just to stir up trouble, and you have the cozy mystery, Hooked on Ewe.
As American aspiring romance writer, Eden Elliott, settles in for her six-month stay in Glenkillen, she's eager to assist at the charity sheep dog trials. That doesn't mean she wants to be a volunteer under the watchful eye of Isla Lindsey, the termagant in charge of the welcoming committee. So, she quickly agrees when Detective Inspector Kevin Jamieson asks for a word with her. And, she's eager to accept when he recruits her to be a special constable, knowing that there's never any serious crime in the small village. Of course, that's before Eden opens the door of a van, and Isla's body tumbles out at her feet.
Inspector Jamieson might have thought Eden would be easier to work with than his previous special constable, Sean Stevens. Yes, the self-deprecating author is quite different. While Sean quakes at the sight of the body, Eden pulls herself together and takes charge. And, her interview style is purely American. Instead of slowly leading up to her questions, Eden rashly, and sometimes rudely, forces the issue. But, it isn't long before her actions bring results as she discovers lies and half-truths from the people who could have killed Isla Lindsey.
It's fun to follow Eden Elliott's thoughts as she debates whether she should allow the take-charge part of herself to take over as she enthusiastically investigates, or the "saner part" of herself that realizes she's a romance novelist who knows nothing about murder investigations. Reed's mystery includes light-hearted moments such as Eden's introspection and a few scenes of romantic interest. At the same time, the author instructs readers about the customs such as sheep-shearing and the sheep dog trials. And, she still manages to stress that the victim, no matter how dislikable, was the mourned victim of a killer.
The Scottish Highlands is a romantic setting for the story of an American writer caught up in her own dreams, finding friends, and discovering a passion for justice in Hooked on Ewe.
And, I'm giving away one copy of Hooked on Ewe. Email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com by 6 PM CT on Thursday, July 9. Your subject heading should read "Win Hooked on Ewe." Please include your name and mailing address. Entries from the U.S. only, please.
Hannah Reed's website is www.hannahreedbooks.com
Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed. Berkley Prime Crime. 2015. ISBN 9780425265833 (paperback), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.